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S01.E03: Remember the Cant

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Available online/on demand prior to broadcast premiere, so enter only if you have seen the episode, or don't mind being spoiled.


Holden and crew are taken prisoner by the Martian Congressional Republic Navy. Miller deals with rioters. Avasarala plays politics.



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Watched parts 2,3, and 4 online last night as part of a binge. Holy crap this show is getting good. The first two are fairly slow moving but things start picking up in ep. 3 and really explode in ep 4.


Episode 3 "Remember the Cant" introduces the Martians into the mix and also highlights the political divisions within the Earth contingent. The Chrisjen Avasarala character ( Shohreh Aghdashloo) really takes center stage in this one as she skillfully plays Earth's ambassador to Mars (played by the great Kenneth Walsh) and discovers that the Martians are just as clueless as the Earthers as to what went on in episode one.


I kind of like the Martians, despite their arrogance and overconfidence, probably because they are a thinly veiled representation of the United States-that can do attitude and sense of a greater destiny that are things that I admire and the same time drive me crazy about my homeland. The Earth here seems to be more like Western Europe-older, somewhat more civilized and jaded and Social Democratic-one of the Martian officers even makes a crack about everybody on Earth being on welfare.


I like Holden and his crew of misfits but the storyline with Miller, while slowly gaining steam has been inching along without all that much of a direction, and with a lot of red herrings. Still, after the events of episode four, things look to get a lot more interesting...and a lot more complicated. If it continues like this, I'm on board for the show. So far, I think it's the best thing Siffy has done in years.

Edited by Philbert
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I figured something was going to end up happening to Jay Hernandez's character, since he was only a guest, but that looked like a painful way to go.  I remember that he was Earth born, so I'm guessing his killers resented him because of that?  It definitely seems like there are issues between those born on a planet, and those born in space/space station.


I guess I was wrong that it was a Mars stealth ship that blew up the Cant, but now they seem to be leaning towards an entire other organization that wants a war between Earth and Mars.  If so, that's other ouch for Holden, who might have accidentally made things worse by calling out Mars in his video.  But the main organization seems to be this O.P.A. group, and Mars is claiming that Naomi is part of that group.  Don't know what to think.  A lot of reveals in this one: that, Holden being dishonorable discharged, Alex serving in the Mars fleet, the doctor being on the run from a drug dealer, etc.  This group clearly has a lot of secrets and skeletons in their closets.


Glad that there was more of Chrisjen in this one.  She clearly will do what it takes to "win" or succeed at her mission, but I do think she really did care about that Martian ambassador, and was sadden that she had to use him like that.


Still not sure what Miller and his case will end up bringing to the table.  Don't trust that guy he was interviewing: especially since it was Jared Harris!  What are you up to, Jared Harris?!!

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The Martians looking like quasi-fascists, with their stiff uniforms and posture, was a nice introduction. The comparison between them being the new world and Earth the old felt very relevant, I have to say. The Americans of the Expanse universe? I couldn't argue against that. The thing about welfare is a teaser (and I don't think this is a spoiler, because it plays no active part in any storyline) about most of the people on Earth being on what they call 'Basic', a living allowance that covers... well, what it says on the tin. Because there are no jobs because everything is automated and there's no need for human labour. The logical endgame, some say, of computers and robotics.


The intrigue grows, as the OPA are brought into this. If Mars didn't blow up the Cant, and Earth certainly didn't (did they?), then it stands to reason the OPA did. They gain by playing the two superpowers off against each other. But no one even knows who the OPA are, or if they have a central authority. Jared Harris held sway in the docks of Ceres, but there's no indication as to whether he controls more than that.


The loss of the Canterbury exacerbating the water problems, and the tensions, on Ceres was a nice way of tying the storylines together. And again of showing how precarious life out there is. Miller has a way of getting things done, it seems. He rubs people up the wrong way, but he does have an authority about him that browbeats people into being helpful. I imagine he's got something of a reputation on Ceres for being a guy who can cause you problems. 


I'm glad we're learning more about the crew, and their backstories. Holden was Earth navy, but dishonourably discharged. Alex was Mars navy, and had a good service record. Naomi is a well educated Belter who may or may not be OPA, Shed isn't really a doctor and Amos... well, who the hell knows. I like that they all have very different energies as well. Holden does have the bearing of a military officer, while Alex is more laidback and slouched. Shed is nervous, Naomi is acerbic and closed off and Amos is... again he's hard to peg. He seems placid, but it's the calm of a predator. But the one thing they all have in common, as Naomi pointed out, is that they don't want to be "at home".


I like the idea that these people can crew together for years, can share space and trust each other with their lives, but secrets mean that they never really know one another. It's not a new idea, of course, but it's well executed in this episode.


Loved this bit:

"What the hell is this? You join up?"

"Wait... that's an option?"


The prostitute teaching Havelock Belter slang was engaging, and I don't just mean because of her looks. A nice performance in what looks like a minor role, and she put a more sympathetic face on the Belters of Ceres. I thought she was going to be coming to a sticky end, but instead it was Havelock.


Avasarala using old friends for political gains was tough to watch. You knew she was going to screw that guy over. I thought the scene with van der Graaf calling her out on it, and explaining why he admires Mars so much was really well done. You could feel their mutual grief that it had come to that, but they both knew she'd do it again in a heartbeat.

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Oh man, poor Havelock! I too liked the scene where the Belter prostitute was teaching him slang, but figured one way or another it would end badly. Ouch. Of course, killing an Earther (who is part of the security force) isn't going to help the Belters at all, but you do have to sympathize with their frustration-- though this is the completely wrong way to go about getting sympathy for their cause. 


The end with Avasarala really underscores just how far she will go to maintain the upperhand, and it was hard and beautiful to watch at the same time. She is a stone cold badass, that one. 


It's going to be really interesting to see how Holden and his crew come together, as right now they know jack  about each other and this is currently driving wedges between them. I look forward to seeing them move beyond the mistrust that is currently being fostered amongst them (thanks MCRN!). 

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I think Martians are simply the personification of their namesake, not a symbol of any modern day country or its policies.

Amos is such an irritating character. I won't be the least bit bothered if he dies.

Edited by ralph
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Me too. He intrigues me and it's not actually likely since on the surface, he seems boring and brutish. But his talk about how he would kill Holden in a heartbeat and then calmly asking him for a wrench or whatever, I perked up.


Love Avasarala but I also love Shohreh Aghdashloo, so that makes me biased. But she seems not a mustache twirling bastard considering how sad she was to have to use an old friend like that. Smart and cruel but thoughtful too. And I loved the story Degraaf told about when she was young. I kept wondering what exatly she was so sad about. That she lost a friend, that she had to do it, that she hurt him? It's interesting.

Jared Harris has always been up to no good in everything I've seen him in, so, for once, I hope he defies my expectations and he got hired for something different.


Love Captain Yao, I hope she sticks around. Greg Byrk, aka Lopez also always seems to show up in things where he is a bad guy but there seems to be more to him than that. Overall, I'm quite happy with the Martians I've seen. Since I've been rewatching Lie to Me recently, my first thought about the pill during interrogation was that it possibly enhances how he interprets and notices micro expressions. Such a good tool and so much more humane but more reliable than torture. Avasarala should take note.


Still bored with Miller. And Holden's character seems to evolve with the plot, so we'll see. Sam goes for Alex and I'm wondering if the not-medic is replacing Alex as the quipper of the group.


I hope the coroner pops up too once in a while. He's hilarious.


Poor Havelock, that's a terrible way to go. Although, at this point, I wasn't very invested in him. He just seemed such an obvious and cliched viewer stand-in to introduce us to the world. Although his attempt to learn from the prostitute did endear him to me somewhat.


What the hell is the OPA? Terrorist organization? Based on the Belt? What does OPA stand for? What do they want? Did I miss something? What is the Cant?

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Love Captain Yao, I hope she sticks around.


Didn't she go down... uh, up with her ship?


What the hell is the OPA?


Outer Planets Alliance


What is the Cant?



Short for "Canterbury."  It's the ice hauler that went in search of the distress beacon, and was blown up.

Edited by Netfoot
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What the hell is the OPA? What does OPA stand for?

Sorry, but every time I hear them talk about OPA, all I can think of is "Olivia Pope & Associates"


What do they want?

More wine? (sorry, couldn't resist).

I've really fallen hard for this show and now can't wait to read the books--much the same as I felt for Game of Thrones and the ASOIAF novels as well as Outlander. So far it's hitting all the right notes for me, especially their world building. For a SyFy-based show I can't believe how good they've made it all feel and fit together.


Like others here, I find Closed Captioning the only way to understand what's being said. Too many shows these days have a bad dialogue mix--what sounds good in a perfectly-calibrated mixing studio will sound much different in people's living rooms with lousy speakers and terrible accoustics.

Edited by NJ RadioGuy
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On 12/26/2015 at 8:27 PM, NJ RadioGuy said:

I've really fallen hard for this show and now can't wait to read the books--much the same as I felt for Game of Thrones and the ASOIAF novels as well as Outlander. So far it's hitting all the right notes for me, especially their world building. For a SyFy-based show I can't believe how good they've made it all feel and fit together.


Like others here, I find Closed Captioning the only way to understand what's being said. Too many shows these days have a bad dialogue mix--what sounds good in a perfectly-calibrated mixing studio will sound much different in people's living rooms with lousy speakers and terrible accoustics.

I had watched season one when it originally aired on SYFY, along with Dark Matter and Killjoys. SYFY has a problem of some sort with material that originates from a source material, e,g., the Ronald D Moore BSG, and cancelling other series too soon Farscape being another example. I finally got caught up with all three season when Amazon Prime got control of those seasons, and I must have rewatched season two several times, and season three even more. Can’t wait for four to come out. Since The Expanse is scheduled for SDCC next month, I suspect we’ll learn about the scheduling then.

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On 6/28/2019 at 5:09 AM, ursula said:

I'm rewatching (will season 4 ever come out) and is it me or was Lopez creepily handsy with Naomi? 

I thought so too when I most recently watched that episode. The way he was standing behind her and leaning over her.

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